It would be foolish to expect the modern office to be as hygienic as a hospital. But at the same time, you probably don’t realise just how much dirt, grime and bacteria are lurking in your immediate vicinity!
It’s not the kind of thing that makes a particularly reassuring reading, but is nonetheless crucially important. After all, it’s only upon acknowledging how unhygienic the average office can be that the necessary measures can be implemented to improve things.
So just to give you an idea of what’s really going on around you, here’s a quick rundown of 9 eye-opening facts and figures about office hygiene:
1 – First of all, you might like to remember that when anyone in the workplace brings a cold or flu bug along for the ride, pretty much everything they touch throughout the day becomes a transmission risk for everyone else. The reason being that contrary to popular belief, there are certain flu and cold viruses that can live for as long as 72 hours. Which means that if the surface isn’t cleaned, it’s still a health hazard on the third day!
2 – Computer keyboards are effectively office trays that catch and accumulate hair, skin, food and anything that dropped out of their respective user’s nose. Recent tests have shown that the average computer keyboard plays host to no less than around 7,500 bacteria.
3 – When polled, almost one in every two workers admitted that they properly sanitize their keyboards less than once every month. Worse still, around 11% of office workers admit that they have never cleaned their keyboards and have little to no intention of doing so.
4 – In the average day, every human adult loses enough dead skin to fill a teacup. Most of its dead skin finds its way onto the floor, but quite a lot of it is left floating around in the air.
5 – If you think that everyone around you is routinely washing their hands after going to the bathroom, think again. Research has shown that around 20% of women and 30% of men admit that they regularly skip washing their hands after going to the toilet. And this isn’t including those who don’t wash their hands but weren’t willing to admit it!
6 – Despite the fact that everybody knows germs and bacteria are practically invisible, one in five people make their hand washing decisions in accordance with the way their hands look. If they believe their hands look clean, they assume them to be clean and don’t bother washing them.
7 – The average human adult touches their eyes, mouth or nose no less than 16 times every hour. Even if you don’t think you are not regularly putting your hands on your face, you are!
8 – Every UK worker loses an average of around nine days per year due to sickness. Office hygiene standards are noted as having a direct and significant impact on employee health and absenteeism.
9 – Last but not least, E-Coli bacteria lives naturally in the intestines of human beings, though is also present on an alarming majority of smartphones, desk telephones, staplers, computer mice and so on.
Time to stock up on antibacterial wipes, no?